Communities in Umzingwane have been assured that meaningful socio-economic benefits will soon be derived from Mtshabezi Dam.

This came out during the provincial launch of the command fisheries programme at the dam, whose construction in 1997 was meant to augment water supplies for the city of Bulawayo and Gwanda town.

Umzingwane legislator, Cde William Dewa said the command fisheries programme that has been launched at Mtshabezi Dam is among the many projects that the government will implement to ensure that the district benefits from the water body.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Acting Director General, Mr Geofrey Matipano, whose authority has been tasked to facilitate implementation of the command fisheries programme, said the government seeks to ensure that all perennial dams are used for fish production.

The Minister of State for Matabeleland South Province, Cde Abedinico Ncube urged communities to avoid poaching and vandalism of the water infrastructure so that the programme is a success.

The fisheries programme, that aims at domestic and commercial fish production, saw the province receiving 100 000 fingerlings.

The restocking of fish at Mtshabezi Dam will ensure that there is readily available fish to stock other dams in the province.